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Challenges: Monthly > December 2015 - Winners' Podium (Reporting Thread)

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message 1: by Janice, Moderator (new)

Janice (jamasc) | 48726 comments Report your win here.


1. Link the name of the book as well as the cover.
2. Tell us which category it was nominated in.
3. Tell us whether you agree or disagree with its nomination, and why.

Easy peasy, right?


message 2: by Anna (new)

Anna (annamatsuyama) | 1071 comments You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) by Felicia Day

You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) by Felicia Day

Humour

It was entertaining and I like the author. I even voted for the book thought I read it only now. So yes, I agree with its nomination.

However I don't think that memoir (or any non fiction should be nominated as humour for GR awards). In my opinion, this awards should go to fiction books. But clearly, GR doesn't think so as all 20 books nominated in this category were nonfiction.


message 3: by Janice, Moderator (new)

Janice (jamasc) | 48726 comments That's a good point about the award going to Humour in Fiction rather than open ended like that. Maybe they thought it was too narrow of a field if they did that.


message 4: by Lanelle (new)

Lanelle | 3110 comments I read Magic Shifts.

It was nominated in Best Fantasy.

I really enjoyed the story. There were quite a few chuckle moments, and even a snort out loud moment. Kate does 'snarky' very well. I've enjoyed watching Kate and Curren's relationship develop and mature. And it was nice to read about some favorite characters.

I don't know if I would rate this book as high as I would the first few. Maybe the series is beginning to wind down.


message 5: by Jkmays (new)

Jkmays I readThe Nightingale The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah finished 12-5-15
Nominated in Historical FIction category
It won the category, I loved the book, gave it five stars out of five, so I definitely agree.


message 6: by Janice, Moderator (last edited Dec 05, 2015 06:37PM) (new)

Janice (jamasc) | 48726 comments Lanelle wrote: "I read Magic Shifts.

It was nominated in Best Fantasy.

I really enjoyed the story. There were quite a few chuckle moments, and even a snort out loud moment. Kate does 'snarky' ver..."



I have one more to read in the series before I can get to this one.


message 7: by Lanelle (new)

Lanelle | 3110 comments Janice wrote: "I have one more to read in the series before I can get to this one. "

It's one of my favorite series.


message 8: by Kerri (last edited Dec 09, 2015 01:56PM) (new)

Kerri I read After You by Jojo Moyes After You (Me Before You, #2) by Jojo Moyes which was nominated as best fiction.

I don't think it should have been nominated at all, it is certainly a long way from being best fiction in my opinion. I am a big fan of Jojo Moyes and loved Me Before You but I think the story should probably have ended there. This book just seemed so unnecessary to me, way to much drama and some parts were just so unrealistic. Still, I read it to the end and had a few laughs and tears along the way so not a total waste of my time, just not one of the better books I've read.


message 9: by Kristie, Moderator (new)

Kristie | 13586 comments That's too bad, Kerri. I am starting that one in a couple of days. That's for sharing your thoughts.


message 10: by Kerri (new)

Kerri Kristie wrote: "That's too bad, Kerri. I am starting that one in a couple of days. That's for sharing your thoughts."

It wasn't terrible Kristie, I actually enjoyed parts of it, maybe you'll enjoy it more. Can't wait to read your thoughts.


message 11: by Sarah, Moderator (new)

Sarah | 18188 comments I read The Girl in the Spider's Web The Girl in the Spider's Web by David Lagercrantz by David Lagercrantz which was nominated for Mystery and Thriller.

It carries on the Millenium series where Steig Larsson left off. Regardless of which author took on the project of developing the story of these fantastic characters, they would have paled in comparison to their creator, Steig Larsson. He was a master and his stories and characters were dark and gritty which is what first got me in to Scandinavian Crime Fiction and why I continue to enjoy that genre. Lagercrantz has a good writing style and has done a fantastic job with this story. Some of the situations in the story are what I'd describe as dark but the way they were described didn't leave the same impression as those which Larsson described. I guess I wasn't disturbed enough is what I'm saying. I guess one can't help but to compare the two authors and Steig is always going to win. But as I've already said, it was a good book and I did enjoy it very much. It was nice to hear more from Mikael Blomkvist and Lisbeth Salander. I ended up giving it 3.5 stars (rounded up to 4 for GR).

I know there was a lot of controversy around this book and it was enough to put me off buying this book. But I was torn as I did want to read it so Good 'Ole Library stepped up for me :-)

I thought perhaps the book could have done with another edit as there were a few words missing in sentences - I guess lost in translation!

I guess it was nominated because it was linked to Steig Larsson and the Millenium Trilogy but I'm not sure whether it would have been nominated if it were a stand alone with no link to an already popular author and series.


message 12: by Casceil (new)

Casceil | 2623 comments I read The Hurricane, The Hurricane (The Hurricane, #1) by R.J. Prescott . It was nominated for Goodreads Debut Author. I agree with its nomination. I had mixed feelings about the book, but I read it very quickly, paying enough attention that my Husband kept asking "What are you reading?" The book is actually something of a soap opera. It is about the romance and eventual marriage of a young rising boxer and the waitress he falls in love with. The characters are very likable. The plot is maybe a little thin and predictable, but I kept reading to make sure things turned out the way I thought they would. It will be interesting to see what this author does next.


message 13: by Janice, Moderator (new)

Janice (jamasc) | 48726 comments Tracked to here.


message 14: by Sharon (new)

Sharon (missvirginia) | 96 comments I read Grey Grey (Fifty Shades, #4) by E.L. James by E.L. James which was nominated for Romance.
Now first of all, I'm not a big fan of the romance genre, but I started to read this series to see what all the fuss was about, and to not be left out at the daily conversations my co-workers where having about this. So I read the first one, and was suprised by the not so standard approach to romance. But with each consecutive book, it became more repetative. And so here we are "the story as told by Christian"... I was hoping the new point of view would lead me to different opinions, new information about Christian would make me more interested, but sadly this wasn't the case. So half way through the 500+ pages I started skipping dialoges, emails, contracts etc.

So I really disagree with this nomination. I think it only got nominated because the whole hype around it and because it's part of a serie. I gave it 2 stars, but this was seriously the worst read of the year for me.


message 15: by Janice, Moderator (new)

Janice (jamasc) | 48726 comments I read Rebel Queen for Historial Fiction.
Rebel Queen by Michelle Moran

I disagree with the nomination. I knew little about the historical Rani Lakshmi and her female guard, but I found the writing to be a bit stilted and even awkward at times. I thought it was an okay read, but not nomination worthy.


message 16: by Travis (new)

Travis (travistousant) | 6011 comments Welcome to Night Vale Welcome to Night Vale by Joseph Fink

Science Fiction

A book based on the podcast which seems to have some cult following. It is weird. I never listened to pod cast and will not become a listener. I don't think. It did grow on me as it progressed though. Doesn't strike me as a best of for the year though.


message 17: by Lynn (last edited Dec 14, 2015 01:30AM) (new)

Lynn | 2609 comments Carry On by Rainbow Rowell Carry On

Nominated in YOUNG ADULT FANTASY & SCIENCE FICTION (and came second) and agree with the nomination.

It wasn't perfect; I thought the story didn't really get going until Baz turned up (and that was quite well into the book) and I thought the plot was a bit of a mess, jumping about all over the place and leaving questions unanswered.

However it was a lot of fun, I loved Simon and Baz, and the whole Harry Potter fanfic thing was like finding long lost comfortable PJs. It was nice to be back in that kind-of world.

I gave it 4 Stars


message 18: by Susan (new)

Susan Guard | 695 comments Yes, My Accent Is Real and Some Other Things I Haven't Told You by Kunal Nayyar Yes, My Accent Is Real: and Some Other Things I Haven't Told You

Nominated in the Humor category

I really enjoyed this book, it was a quick and light-hearted read. It was a great book to relax with after a particularly stressful week.


message 19: by Janice, Moderator (new)

Janice (jamasc) | 48726 comments Susan wrote: "Yes, My Accent Is Real and Some Other Things I Haven't Told You by Kunal Nayyar Yes, My Accent Is Real: and Some Other Things I Haven't Told You

Nominated in the Humor catego..."


Did you agree with the nomination?


message 20: by Janice, Moderator (new)

Janice (jamasc) | 48726 comments Lynn wrote: "Carry On by Rainbow RowellCarry On

Nominated in YOUNG ADULT FANTASY & SCIENCE FICTION (and came second)

It wasn't perfect; I thought the story didn't really get going until Baz..."


Did you agree with the nomination?


message 21: by AmyK (new)

AmyK (yakyma) | 1044 comments Read Dead Wake The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania

Winner in History&Biography

Haven't been disappointed in Erik Larson yet. I enjoyed reading this and learned some things in the process as well.

I agree with the nomination. I haven't read any of the others nominated in this category though, so I can't judge its winning state. However it was very good.

question: Wouldn't all history&biography books fall under a general Non-fiction category?


message 22: by Janice, Moderator (new)

Janice (jamasc) | 48726 comments AmyK wrote: "question: Wouldn't all history&biography books fall under a general Non-fiction category? ..."

Some of the categories did seem a bit strange.


message 23: by Ava Catherine (last edited Dec 14, 2015 09:35AM) (new)

Ava Catherine | 4258 comments I read Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town.
Missoula Rape and the Justice System in a College Town by Jon Krakauer

It was nominated for the nonfiction category.
I gave it 5 stars. I agree that it is an excellent nonfiction book because it is deeply researched and very well written. It is engaging and reads almost like a novel. The book presents interesting facts and statistics which could lead to good discussions. I found it very thought provoking.


message 24: by AmyK (new)

AmyK (yakyma) | 1044 comments Connie (Ava Catherine) wrote: "I read Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town.
Missoula Rape and the Justice System in a College Town by Jon Krakauer

It was nominated for the nonfiction cat..."


I was going to read that one for the challenge Connie, but am still waiting behind a few people at the library for it.


message 25: by Lara (new)

Lara | 1426 comments I read Serafina and the Black Cloak Serafina and the Black Cloak (Serafina, #1) by Robert Beatty , which was nominated for both Middle Grade and Debut GoodReads Author.

I was surprised at how dark and creepy it was. My main issue with the book lay in its setting and in the ending. The setting is the Biltmore Estate in the heyday of the Vanderbilts. I'm not sure why it had to be there other than the fact that it's a huge mansion in the middle of a forest in Appalachia. However, other than that, history was of little importance. The ending was wrapped up a little too neatly with Serafina overcoming all concerns and being recognized as a hero without really dealing with the reasons she was in hiding to begin with.


message 26: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (lisathebooklover) | 9244 comments I read The Buried Giant The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro

It was nominated in the Best Fantasy category.

I really did not enjoy this book at all so I disagree with its nomination. Some of the writing was quite nice in parts but the dialogue was stilted, the characters were poorly developed and the fantasy element just didn't work for me. And don't even get me started on "princess"! If you have read the book, you will know what I mean by that. I had to really force myself to stick with it and get to the end and it felt a lot longer than 345 pages. This was my first book by Kazuo Ishiguro and although this hasn't completely put me off reading some more of his works in the future, they won't be high on my priority list. I gave it 2 stars.


message 27: by Anna (new)

Anna (annamatsuyama) | 1071 comments @ Lisa

I'm currently reading The Buried Giant, and I'm glad that I'm not the only one who is annoyed by never ending "princess"


message 28: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (lisathebooklover) | 9244 comments Anna wrote: "@ Lisa

I'm currently reading The Buried Giant, and I'm glad that I'm not the only one who is annoyed by never ending "princess""


No, you are definitely not alone Anna. It drove me mad!


message 29: by Sharon (last edited Dec 17, 2015 07:32AM) (new)

Sharon (alynor) | 298 comments I read Kitchens of the Great Midwest Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal , a fiction nominee. I didn't love it, but I won't argue with its nomination. It's creative enough in approach to warrant some award attention.

I also read You're Never Weird on the Internet You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) by Felicia Day , and I agree that it's more of a memoir (albeit a lightweight one) than a humor book. I enjoyed it, and the author's story is interesting and inspiring.


message 30: by Beth (new)

Beth (eparks4232) | 1875 comments I read The Girl on the Train which won the Mystery category. I think it deserved the nomination. I enjoyed it, plenty of suspense and tension.


message 31: by Janice, Moderator (new)

Janice (jamasc) | 48726 comments tracked to here


message 32: by Susan (new)

Susan Guard | 695 comments Janice wrote: "Susan wrote: "Yes, My Accent Is Real and Some Other Things I Haven't Told You by Kunal Nayyar Yes, My Accent Is Real: and Some Other Things I Haven't Told You

Nominated in th..."


I did agree with the nomination. While it wasn't rolling on the floor insane, it was quite funny and light-hearted, a perfect little read for me at a time when I needed a chuckle.


message 33: by Sandra (last edited Dec 19, 2015 06:48AM) (new)

Sandra (sanlema) | 9420 comments I read Trail of Broken Wings Trail of Broken Wings by Sejal Badani
It was a Fiction nominee and ended in the 10th place with around 8,000 votes.
I don't agree with the nomination. I wouldn't have nominated it nor voted for it. I rated it 2 stars.
A book that pretends to be character driven needs deeper developed characters. After reading a 370 story written from the point of view of 4 different women I still feel I don't really know them. They are skinny characters, and I like characters with a lot of MEAT in them (specially if it is character driven instead of plot driven).
The plot has two (small) twists in it that I saw coming after 60 or 80 pages into the book. I also found it repetitive.
I think it's "politically correct" to like this book, and this is probably the reason why it was a nominee. It's the story of 3 grown sisters and their mother, who were severely abused by their father/husband all their lives, and now that he is into a coma they all come together again. How can you not empathize with them? Are you a monster? I don't mean to offend anyone. Of course it's a terrible situation, and the blurb caught immediately my attention. It's only that repeating "bruises". "beaten", "hurt" and "broken" thousand of times in the book doesn't seem a smart approach.
I only read one more book of the list, A Spool of Blue Thread (17th place) , and although it wasn't fantastic, I liked it better and rated it 3 stars.
I'm in the queue at the library for Girl at War, 8th place. Let's see how do I like it.


message 34: by Sandra (new)

Sandra (sanlema) | 9420 comments I should have said why is a 2 stars and not 1. This family is from India, and they move to the US when the two first girls are still young (the third one is born here). The father is a successful engineer in India, but can't get a good job in America. The cultural shock, the differences, the hard times and its effects in the members of the family is pretty well portrayed.


message 35: by Janice, Moderator (new)

Janice (jamasc) | 48726 comments Oh! Oh! That 2 star rating doesn't sound good. I picked up the book in an Audible sale because it sounded really good.


message 36: by Sandra (new)

Sandra (sanlema) | 9420 comments Many people loved it, Janice. Maybe it's just me. I'd like to have your opinion once you listened to it.


message 37: by Janice, Moderator (new)

Janice (jamasc) | 48726 comments It's towards the bottom of my very long list, so it will be a while before I get to it.


message 38: by Kirila (new)

Kirila | 612 comments Girl at War
Girl at War by Sara Nović

It was nominated in Fiction. Ended up in 8th place with more than 11 000 votes. I liked it more than the winner (Go Set a Watchman) and I definitely agree with its nomination. If I had read it earlier, I would have voted for it.

I really enjoyed the book: the writing style was easy to follow, but not simple; the story was emotional and engaging; the historical part of the book was interesting and informative. And I cried at some moments (thankfully not at the airport where I read a big part of the book...). It's not so hard to make me cry :D, but it does mean that I got into the story and was attached to the characters.


message 39: by Joan (last edited Dec 21, 2015 09:45PM) (new)

Joan Lafayette in the Somewhat United States was nominated in History & Biography.
I like it - I gave it 3 stars. Sarah Vowell has a quirky view of history. The points-of-view she selects challenge conventional history and allow her to have a bit of fun with the information. She is like Mary Poppins using "a little bit of sugar to help the medicine go down in the most delightful way" You do need a strong interest in USA culture to enjoy this book..The History & Biography category seems heavily slanted to USA interests.
my review


message 40: by Cherie (new)

Cherie (crobins0) | 19984 comments Born with Teeth Born with Teeth by Kate Mulgrew was nominated in the Memoire/Autobiography section. I don't know where it ended up, but it didn't win. However, it was a winner as far as I am concerned. I loved Mulgrew's writing style and even more, her narration of her book. It felt very truthful and honest, like the characters she has played on TV and on stage. She said she is going to continue writing. I will be interested in what she comes up with.


message 41: by Almeta (last edited Dec 23, 2015 04:26AM) (new)

Almeta (menfrommarrs) | 10131 comments Circus Mirandus by Cassie Beasley Circus Mirandus, Cassie Beasley was nominated for Debut Goodreads Author.

I thoroughly enjoyed this Young Adult fiction and believe it deserved the nomination nod, I gave it 4 stars. I'll bet a younger audience will give it 5.


message 42: by Lara (new)

Lara | 1426 comments I have now also finished both Winter Winter (The Lunar Chronicles, #4) by Marissa Meyer and Uprooted Uprooted by Naomi Novik , which were both nominated in the Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy category.

Winter is the conclusion of a series that I really enjoyed. It is long--over 800 pages! However, it moves quickly and wraps up all of the loose threads. So, I'm glad the author didn't break it up into 2 books. As to whether it's deserving, I guess so. I felt it wasn't as strong as the first two books, but people stayed in character and the fairy tale angle still came into play in the futuristic setting. While it wasn't amazing, it was satisfying.

Uprooted takes place in a 16th fantasy version of Poland and follows a young woman as she finds herself in the one place she was certain she wouldn't end up. And this puts her in the position to learn a great deal about herself, some of it reluctantly. It also puts her in the position to be caught up in events at the nation's highest levels, something she is completely unprepared for. She's a delightful character--completely accepting of herself and her foibles. If she does something differently than others, then she's fine with that. I agree with the nomination. The book deals with a lot of issues without beating the reader over the head.


message 43: by Janice, Moderator (new)

Janice (jamasc) | 48726 comments You're ripping through the nominees, Lara. That's 3 by my count this month.


message 44: by Lara (new)

Lara | 1426 comments Janice wrote: "You're ripping through the nominees, Lara. That's 3 by my count this month."

This was a great challenge for me, as I had a number I'd been wanting to read and it's given them the extra boost to the top of my list. I've actually started that audiobook of a 4th, have a 5th that's been sitting by my bed for months, and a 6th that is due back at the library next week. Oh, and a 7th that I have as an ebook. I guess my list is a bit out of control, I'm okay with that.


message 45: by Poongothai (last edited Dec 24, 2015 01:26AM) (new)

Poongothai (poongsa) | 483 comments The Liar The Liar by Nora Roberts
Nominated in Best Romance
It was a romantic suspense book, but very much predictable. It is a good book for Nora Roberts fans, but may not appeal much for others. It deserves the nominations as it is a well written book with good pacing and wonderful setting.


message 46: by Karen (new)

Karen Rashid | 137 comments This is my first Ylto monthly challenge and my first GoodReads post so I hope I do this correctly.

I read three books in three different categories:

The Nightingale
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
This book was the Winner in the historical fiction category. I agree with The Nightingale as a nominee but not sure if it should have been a winner. Although this was a very good book, and it definitely moved me, It didn't wow me - especially the first half.

Everything, Everything
[book-cover:Everything, Everything|18692431].
I agree with this book as a nominee in the YA category. It was a light and lovely read.

The Lake House The Lake House
The Lake House by Kate Morton
This was my first book by Kate Morton and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked it. It was quite the page turner; I was really drawn into the setting and the story line.


message 47: by Janice, Moderator (new)

Janice (jamasc) | 48726 comments Hi Karen! Welcome to our group and kudo's for jumping right in to the monthly challenge. All monthly challenges are for just one book, but you can read more if you chose. I'll put you down for The Nightingale. I agree with your assessment of the book. I thought it romanticized the war too much. Give me something a bit more gritty, please.

By the way, there is going to be a buddy read for The Nightingale in January and your comments and observations will be most welcome.


message 48: by Almeta (new)

Almeta (menfrommarrs) | 10131 comments Karen wrote: "This is my first Ylto monthly challenge and my first GoodReads post so I hope I do this correctly. :..."

Welcome Karen!☺


message 49: by Debra (last edited Dec 27, 2015 05:51AM) (new)

Debra (debra_t) | 6542 comments The Scarlet Gospels was nominated for horror. I thought it was an excellent adventure and it was nice to read more about Harry D'Amour, a character that appeared in Clive Barker's earlier novels. I believe it deserved its nomination and will be giving it 5 stars.


message 50: by Janice, Moderator (new)

Janice (jamasc) | 48726 comments Debra wrote: "The Scarlet Gospels was nominated for horror. I thought it was an excellent adventure and it was nice to read more about Harry D'Amour, a character that appeared in Clive Barker's e..."

Do you need to read his earlier books for this one to make sense? The blurb says that it goes back to two earlier characters.


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